He said the President could easily continue to keep making interest payments on the debt but said Obama seems unlikely to choose that path.
"What the president threatens to do would be catastrophic and unprecedented," he added. "The full faith and credit of the United States is what gives markets the confidence to loan money to the federal government."
McClintock said the government's revenue is 10 times the amount of the debt service payments it must make, which should make it easy for the U.S. to keep up on these payments. He also said that if Congress fails to increase the debt ceiling, it would not be a congressional decision at that point not to make these payments, but rather a decision by the executive branch.
McClintock spoke as Senate leaders were trying to negotiate a last-minute deal on the debt ceiling and the government shutdown. But McClintock blasted Democrats for refusing to bargain on the terms of a debt-ceiling deal and said their position eliminates the whole purpose of having a debt ceiling.
"The debt limit exists for a simple reason: to assure that public debt isn't recklessly piled up without Congress periodically acknowledging it and addressing the spending patterns that are causing it," he said. "If the debt limit increase is supposed to be automatic, as the President suggests, then there's really no purpose to it."
He added that the fight between the parties has now escalated to the point where it is a constitutional crisis, and said if Republicans cave in to Democratic demands, it would effectively give control over fiscal matters to the White House.
The power of the purse will have shifted from the representatives of the people to the executive," he warned.